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How do you handle this?

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Perca, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    I've never had a customer complain about his mounted fish being shorter than when he brought it in, but this might be my first one. The fellow brought in a "fresh" walleye. Since it wasn't frozen, I took the measurements while he watched. Of course, the mouth was closed and I pinched the points of the tail together to get the full length....eh? It was 26 1/2" long. Now it's mounted and dry. With the mouth open, body curved with the tail down, and the tail fanned out, the fish is about 25 1/2" long. :-\ This guy is expecting a 26 1/2" mount. Maybe some of you have already encountered and dealt with a situation like this? I'm just looking for a way to be prepared for the worst. Thanks!
  2. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill If my hats missing im fishing

    Perca I measure the length with the tail half closed, never with the points of the tail pinced. Here in NY thats how the DEC does it. Obviously the length is going to be a little off with the pose of the fish and the tail being opened all the way. I had a guy come in with a smallmouth and told me it was 21 in., but when I measured it was 22 in. and he bitched.......what a tight wad ::) Personally I can't recall anyone measuring a fish I've done after mounting it. If he brings it up to you just explain it to him.

  3. mk

    mk -30 below

    worst case knock an 1" of price off his mount if explaining it to him wount work.
  4. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    If the customer fusses, measure it in his presence from the back side and it will be longer than the show side.
  5. jkidd

    jkidd New Member

    Yeah, what Joey said. ;)
  6. Joey Arender

    Joey Arender big mouth alert

    Did you measure the inside or outside curve...if the inside, try and see what the outside measures my bet is its 1-2 inches more then the inside curve if the fish is 20 or better....Just a guess..I never have measured the finished product...

    You could take a string and start at the lip and run it all the way down the back against the dorsal fins and up the ridge of the tail to the point and see what that gives you....I think that is what Gary told me, to get an accurate measurement of a mounted fish....
  7. I measure all mounts AFTER they have been completed. I measure them ALL from the BACK side which usually gives me an extra inch profit. No one has complained yet. I have had a few people say they thought it was shorter/longer but as explained earlier, just tell them there are different methods of measuring and the curve WILL add or subtract a little from the length.
    Perca, you may be getting freaked out about nothing. Just charge them at 26.5 inches and be done with it. If they are happy with your work, they won't say a thing. Remember, YOU are the expert here. Not them. You run the show and you measure fish everyday. Be polite ofcourse but explain that a fish with any curve at all will not measure the same as a fish laid flat. They will understand.
    I should add that I ALWAYS tell my customers that the completed mount may measure out within one inch(plus or minus) of what it was, due to the mounting process.(more times than not they will say...make it on the plus side and I must tell them, I can't stretch their mount) If you explain that, you will never have to worry about this again AND you get to measure from the back side and add to your profit. Think about it...a hundred fish times one inch is a free vacation next year when the fish go out the door. Two hundred fish times one inch profit = a REALLY nice vacation! LOL!
  8. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    FYI the money is no issue. I charge by the fish...not by the inch. From that standpoint, neither me nor the fisherman has anything to gain or lose...eh? The only purpose of measuring the fish was for ordering the form. The guy was focused on the 26 1/2" length of his walleye. If I don't tell him about the length difference before he takes it home and he discovers it later, I might be getting some bad publicity. I think I ought to discuss this with him when he comes for the pick up?
  9. Joey Arender

    Joey Arender big mouth alert

    I doubt you have anything to worry about....if the fish looks as good as the perch in your avatar then he should be tickled to death...Good luck
  10. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Have a simple, child's stick bow in your showroom. Have them measure inside and outside curve. Explain curve = reduction in length. If they don't get it, they are too stupid to suck air.
  11. Just curios how that type of charging works for you Perca.Some fish(lets say a salmon) can be 20 inches and another 45 inches and ALOT more work. Do you charge the same?? OR a bass could be one pound and another 10 pounds, also much more time and work involved. Just wondering. Thanks
  12. UFD

    UFD New Member

    Doug, if possible have another similar sized walleye thawed out when the guy picks up his fish, and show him again the difference between measuring a fish to the fork of the tail when it is spread versus the tips of the tail when the tail is collapsed (the way he insisted you should measure his fish). There should be a measurable difference (maybe even close to that inch) with a walleye that size, because I know that when I measure both ways on a 36-40 inch Steelhead there is about 1½- 2 inches of difference in the two lengths. If you show him the difference on a fresh fish, explain that once the tail is spread out and dried for mounting, the length will never come back to the longer tip length because the tail can never be scrunched down again. Just by showing him that as the tail spreads out the tips move forward, he should get a working understanding of fish length. Even if he doesn’t understand the difference for whatever reason, just doing that should ease your concern that there is no mistake on your part and maybe he is just being unreasonable for the sake of being unreasonable.

    I have actually made it a point to explain and demonstrate up front the differences in length measurements to as many clients and potential clients as possible, just for the sake of education on how fish length can appear to be different between tip and fork length.
  13. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    Marc, charging by the fish has worked fine for me. All king salmon are the same price, and I've never taken in one under 34". Coho and pinks are a lot less than kings(but still ALL the same price) and that's because they never get as big as chinooks. Bass are all the same price. I never took in a 1 pounder(LOL). Almost all of them are 18-22". The ONE fish I charge different rates for are trout since trout includes lakers(typically 36" and up) all the way down to brook trout (Smallest ones I've done were about 15"). I charge all trout under 20" at one price, 20" to 30" a higher price, and over 30" the highest price. (Yes...I know brookies and lakers are char.) I know charging by the fish is unorthodox, but so is most of what I do....eh? ;D
    Dave, that isn't possible because this 26 1/2"er is the shortest walleye I've ever had brought in. :D I guess I could thaw out a 30"er to do the same demonstration, but I don't want to give this guy a complex. ;D ;D ;D
  14. Thanks Perca! I am always interested in how others run their business. That's GREAT that it works for you. Funny but true.....there are MANY ways to skin a cat..er..fish!
  15. Gary B.

    Gary B. Active Member

    I like the idea of charging for the fish and not by the inch- It takes me the same time to do a 28" walleye as a 30" walleye.
    Why should there be a difference in price???????/ How do the customers respond to the same charge no matter what size when most taxidermists charge by the inch?

    Just wondering

    Gary B.
  16. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    I don't get much of a reaction from customers. It's the total price they are wanting to find out anyway...eh? The very few "small" fish I do are almost always a kid's first one. :D There's a real soft spot in this old codger's heart for dad's who take their kids fishing, and I give them a super deal on the fish their child caught. ::) Often Dad returns with HIS big fish to be done for the full price. ;D Feeling good and making money. Sounds like a win/win to me! ;D ;D
  17. Very good marketing strategy there. long ago, when i used to do sportshows, I made up a bunch of small plastic boxes with #10 mustad hooks in them. I also made sure my advertising was on this box and clearcoated to withstand water.
    I gave these boxes to every kid that stopped into my booth with his/her dad.
    I STILL get business from people who kept(in their tackle box) those neat little boxes I purchased in bulk along with the hooks from the "netcraft catologue"
    Another "feel good/make money' type deal. Just like in nature...Big fish often follow little fish.
  18. JRtaxidermist

    JRtaxidermist Member

    i always save the freezer paper that i trace the fish with and it has all the measurements on it along with the customer's name and type of fish. I was told its a great piece of evidence that it is the correct fish and very few people argue with that.
  19. John W.

    John W. New Member

    Cut an inch and a half off your tape,when he comes in measure it again, not letting him see your altered end of your tape and there you go you've got 27 inches-L.O.L.-John W. ;D
  20. TrailsEnd

    TrailsEnd Don't forget the elderly, the young and disabled

    When that happens I measure the outside curve of the mounted fish in front of the guy and it's longer. that usually shuts them up.